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Chris Fraker, Ph.D.

"I'm very excited about the future and seeing the progress that we've made in the last five years makes me very enthusiastic that we're getting much closer."

Chris Fraker, Ph.D., is Research Assistant Professor of Surgery and Cell Transplantation and a member of the DRI’s Biomedical and Tissue Engineering team.

Since arriving at the DRI in 1997, Dr. Fraker has focused his research on the importance of oxygen for the survival and proliferation of insulin-producing islet cells, as well as on protecting islets from the immune system through the use of novel encapsulation strategies.

He initially worked under the late Dr. Marcos Mares-Guia, a renowned Brazilian chemist, in the design of immunoisolation devices to shield islets from immune attack. Their work centered on incorporating an oxygen-binding compound, perfluorocarbon (PFC), into the device to enhance cell survival and hold a patent for this technology.

He later used this same technology to incorporate PFC into a new culture device to increase proliferation of pancreatic cells in culture, called the “oxygen sandwich.” The results of his research have been published in numerous peer-reviewed scientific journals.

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